Monitoring Events & Reactions

International institutions and States have stepped up in their efforts to support human rights and the civil society in Belarus, in light of the election-related violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, human rights defenders and journalists, and conveyed the message that the abuses will not be tolerated. This page provides a timeline of international reactions and events dedicated to the human rights crisis in Belarus.

Events

  • 17 Sep 2021

    • Viasna
    • campaign

    #FreeViasna International Solidarity Campaign

  • 13 Sept–1 Oct

    • UN
    • OHCHR session

    OHCHR 48th Regular Session

  • 6-7 Sept 2021

    • Viasna
    • HRD

    Human Rights Defenders Coordination Meeting in Vilnius

  • 7 Jul 2021

    • seminar
    • IMS
    • HRD

    Seminar: The situation for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists in Belarus

  • 6 Jul 2021

    • UN
    • HRD
    • OHCHR session

    UN Side-event: Lawyers Under Threat: Increasing Suppression of the Legal Profession in Belarus

  • 21 June–9 July

    • UN
    • OHCHR session

    OHCHR 47th Regular Session

Reactions

  • 24 Sep 2021

    • UN
    • torture
    • freedom of association
    • freedom of expression
    • freedom of assembly

    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet says that she continues to be alarmed by “persistent allegations” of “widespread and systematic torture” of protesters in Belarus, deeply concerned over restrictions on civic space & fundamental freedoms.

  • 17 Sep 2021

    • Viasna
    • HRD

    23 international and Belarusian human rights organisations, including FIDH, launched the campaign #FreeViasna to demand the release of seven detained Viasna members.

  • 17 Sep 2021

    • EU
    • Viasna

    EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore called on behalf of the European Union for the unconditional releases of imprisoned members of Viasna HRC.

  • 7 Sept 2021

    • UN

    UN special rapporteur Anais Marin said Belarusian repression now got worse than "catastrophic"

  • 7 Sept 2021

    • Viasna
    • HRD

    Several key Belarusian and international human rights organizations announced plans to launch an international campaign of solidarity entitled #FreeViasna at the coordination meeting in Vilnius.

  • 12 Aug 2021

    • sanctions
    • Switzerland

    Switzerland adopts Belarus sectoral sanctions tracking those implemented by the EU in June 2021

  • 9 Aug 2021

    • US
    • UK
    • Canada
    • sanctions

    US, UK and Canada impose new sanctions on Belarus that target financial, potash, and oil sectors among others.

  • 6 Aug 2021

    • sports
    • IOC

    The International Olympic Committee sets up a Disciplinary Commission to investigate the case of the runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaya and cancels the accreditation of the two coaches who allegedly tried to force her home after she criticised the team administration.

  • 27 Jul 2021

    • EU
    • support

    Richard Tibbels, Head of the Eastern Partnership, Regional Cooperation and OSCE Division at the European External Action Service, writes in a letter to FIDH that the EU will continue supporting the people of Belarus and country’s civil society.

  • 21 Jul 2021

    • EU
    • Viasna
    • statements

    Leading MEPs condemn the latest arrests of Sakharov Laureate Ales Bialiatski and other human rights defenders in Belarus

  • 15 Jul 2021

    • EU
    • Viasna
    • statements

    EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell makes a statement on the crackdown against civil society

  • 14 Jul 2021

    • US

    Bipartisan Congressional Friends of Belarus Caucus established in the US Congress.

  • 13 Jul 2021

    • UN
    • OHCHR session

    UN renews the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus for one year

  • 5 Jul 2021

    • UN
    • reports
    • OHCHR session

    Report released by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin, covering the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

  • 24 Jun 2021

    • EU
    • sanctions

    EU imposes sanctions on Belarusian economy, restricting trade in petroleum, potash, and tobacco, as well as restricting the interaction between Belarus and the EU in banking and telecommunication sectors.

  • 21 Jun 2021

    • UN

    Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that Belarusian government discontinued the presence of Senior Human Rights Adviser in Minsk

  • 21 Jun 2021

    • EU
    • sanctions
    • UK
    • US
    • Canada

    Fourth round of EU sanctions as well as another round of sanctions by the UK, US and Canada.

  • 17 Jun 2021

    Joint letter to Permanent Representatives of member and observer states of the UN Human Rights Council by 30 Belarusian and international human rights organisations

  • 10 Jun 2021

    • EU
    • sanctions

    European Parliament adopts resolution on the systematic repression in Belarus and its consequences for European security following abductions from an EU civilian plane intercepted by Belarusian authorities. The resolution’s demands include calls for sectoral sanctions to target key exports from the country and suspend Belarus from SWIFT.

  • 4 Jun 2021

    • EU
    • sanctions

    EU bans Belarusian carriers from its airspace and airports

  • 3 Jun 2021

    • US
    • sanctions

    US sanctions against Belneftekhim come into force

  • 27 May 2021

    • EU
    • support

    European Commission approves the Comprehensive Plan of economic support to democratic Belarus

  • 26 May 2021

    • Ukraine

    Ukraine suspends import of electricity from Belarus

  • 25 May 2021

    • France
    • support
    • EU
    • G7

    Emmanuel Macron invites human rights activist and opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to visit the G7 summit

  • 25 May 2021

    • EU
    • sanctions
    • reactions
    • international

    Most European airlines and multiple international ones change their routes to avoid Belarus’ airspace. Several states cut air links with Belarus

  • 24 May 2021

    • EU
    • UK
    • US
    • Ukraine
    • statements
    • NATO

    Multiple leaders and representatives of EU states, UK, US, Ukraine, NATO, Ryanair, and Western media strongly condemn the forced landing of the Ryanair flight in Belarus as state-sponsored "hijacking," "piracy" and "terrorism."

  • 24 May 2021

    • EU
    • sanctions

    EU summit demands the immediate release of Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, calls on the Council to adopt further targeted economic sanctions on Belarus, all EU-based carriers to avoid overflight of Belarus, the Council to adopt the necessary measures to ban overflight of EU airspace by Belarusian airlines and prevent access to EU airports of flights operated by such airlines.

  • 23 May 2021

    • events
    • arbitrary detentions

    Forced landing of Ryanair flight 4978 with Raman Pratasevich on board

  • 18 May 2021

    • freedom of media
    • arrests
    • searches

    Persecution of TUT.by, the largest independent media; arrests of journalists and managers

  • 5 May 2021

    • Germany
    • universal jurisdiction
    • EU

    A group of 10 Belarusians file suit in Germany under universal jurisdiction against Aliaksandr Lukashenka and other representatives of the regime for crimes against humanity

  • 21 Apr 2021

    • HRD
    • PACE
    • resolutions

    PACE adopts the resolution calling for investigations into human rights violations in Belarus, the release of all political prisoners, the termination of violence against human rights defenders

  • 19 Apr 2021

    • US
    • sanctions

    US re-imposes sanctions on nine state-owned companies in Belarus, including on Belneftekhim, for human rights violations

  • 1 Apr 2021

    • UN
    • police brutality
    • arbitrary detentions

    UN human rights experts call on Belarus to end the pattern of excessive use of force, arrests, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment against protesters and the repression of journalists and media personnel.

  • 26 Mar 2021

    • Poland
    • UN
    • EU

    Polish President Andrzej Duda asks the United Nations Security Council to discuss the human rights and treatment of Poles in Belarus

  • 24 Mar 2021

    • UN
    • impunity

    Launch of International Accountability Platform for Belarus, to collect, consolidate, verify, and preserve evidence of grave human rights violations committed by Belarusian authorities in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and its aftermath

  • 24 Mar 2021

    • UN
    • police brutality
    • torture

    The UN Human Rights Council sets up a team of investigators to gather evidence about alleged excessive use of force and torture by authorities in Belarus during the post-election crackdown

  • 18 Mar 2021

    • US
    • elections
    • OSCE

    US and OSCE issue joint call for new dialogue to lead to new presidential election in Belarus

  • 2 Mar 2021

    • freedom of media
    • arrests

    TUT.by journalist is handed down a six-month prison sentence

  • 22 Feb 2021

    • UN
    • reports

    47th session of the Human Rights Council: Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review

  • 18 Feb 2021

    • freedom of media
    • arrests

    Belsat journalists sentenced to two years in prison

  • 16 Feb 2021

    • Viasna
    • searches

    Mass searches at Viasna HRC and BAJ

  • 7 Feb 2021

    • universal jurisdiction
    • Czechia
    • EU

    First universal jurisdiction investigation request field in Czechia

  • 5 Feb 2021

    • EU
    • statements

    Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi on the 7 February Day of Solidarity with Belarus

  • 18 Jan 2021

    • sports
    • sanctions

    International Ice Hockey Fedreation moves 2021 World Championship from Belarus

  • 23 Dec 2020

    • US
    • sanctions

    US Treasury sanctions additional Belarusian regime actors for undermining democracy

  • 22 Dec 2020

    • US
    • sanctions
    • support

    US Senate passes Belarus Democracy, Human Rights, and Sovereignty Act of 2020

  • 17 Dec 2020

    • EU
    • sanctions

    Third round of EU sanctions

  • 9 Dec 2020

    • universal jurisdiction
    • Lithuania
    • EU

    Lithuanian law enforcement opens first criminal case under universal jurisdiction

  • 4 Dec 2020

    • UN

    Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, issues a statement on the situation in Belarus during an intersessional meeting of the UN Human Rights Council

  • 27 Nov 2020

    • universal jurisdiction
    • EU
    • impunity

    First universal jurisdiction investigation request submitted

  • 12 Nov 2020

    • protests

    Death of Raman Bandarenka

  • 6 Nov 2020

    • EU
    • sanctions

    Second round of EU sanctions

  • 5 Nov 2020

    • Germany
    • EU
    • resolutions
    • elections

    German Bundestag denies Lukashenka’s legitimacy and adopts resolution on Belarus

  • 5 Nov 2020

    • OSCE
    • Moscow Mechanism

    OSCE Rapporteur’s Report under the Moscow Mechanism on Alleged Human Rights Violations related to the Presidential Elections of 9 August 2020 in Belarus

  • 2 Oct 2020

    • US
    • sanctions

    US Treasury sanctions Belarus officials for undermining democracy

  • 1 Oct 2020

    • EU
    • sanctions

    First round of EU sanctions

  • 17 Sep 2020

    • EU
    • sanctions

    EU press release: MEPs call for EU sanctions against Belarusian president and Navalny’s poisoners

  • 9 Sep 2020

    • PACE
    • impunity

    Statement by PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights set up an international investigative body to collect information and secure evidence on human rights crimes in Belarus

  • 17 Aug 2020

    • OSCE

    OSCE Chairmanship offers to visit Belarus

  • 12 Aug 2020

    • UN
    • elections
    • police brutality

    Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemns violent response of Belarus to post-electoral protests

  • 10 Aug 2020

    • EU
    • statements

    High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi issue joint statement on the presidential elections

  • 17 Jul 2020

    • UN
    • reports
    • OHCHR session

    Report released by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin